Goaltide Daily Current Affairs

Sep 08, 2019

Current Affair 1:
Chhattisgarh became the first state in July 2019, to amend District Mineral Foundation rules.

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Some History you should know to understand this topic. Don’t worry. We will explain you.

To address the ironic inequality of India’s mining districts, where the richest lands are inhabited by some of the country’s poorest and most deprived, District Mineral Foundation (DMF) was instituted in 2015 through an amendment under India’s central mining law—the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 (MMDR Act).

The law requires DMF to be developed as a Trust that would function as a

non-profit body in every mining district.


Here we will cover, District Mineral Foundation in detail as it is important for your Prelims Exam.

The law MMDR Amendment Act (2015)—defines precisely that the DMF

objective is to ‘work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations.

Sections 9B (1) (2) and (3) of the MMDR Amendment Act (2015), makes it clear that DMF should be established as a non-profit ‘trust’ in every mining district. As a statutory trust, DMFs entail certain institutional obligations to function and serve its intended beneficiaries. The obligations have been particularly reviewed in terms of two key factors:

Establishment of DMF Trusts (including elaboration on its composition and functions): In any district affected by mining-related operations, DMF should be established as a Trust through a state government notification.

Identification of beneficiaries of the DMF Trust: For DMF Trusts, ‘mining-affected people’ are the beneficiaries, as defined under the state DMF Rules and PMKKKY (we will deal with this PMKKKY later in this part, nothing in it. Simply scaring you).


Now comes the most important part: Composing of this District Mineral Foundation. The administrative structure of the DMF Trust (as laid down by Central Government) comprises of a Governing Council and a Managing Committee.

But the composition and Function of DMF are as per the State Government notifications. See below:

What was the problem?

  1. Both Governing Council and a Managing Committee are dominated by bureaucrats and political representatives district officials. There is practically no representation of mining-affected people in the administrative bodies.
  2. The state DMF Rules and the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kheshtra Kalyan Yojana (as aligned to DMF), clearly mentions the power and role of the Gram Sabha in

mining-affected areas for identification of beneficiaries, DMF planning, and review of works and schemes. However, there is practically no scope of representation of Gram Sabha members in the DMF body of any state.

These Problems were recently addressed by Chhattisgarh Government. The Government of Chhattisgarh has introduced two important amendments in 2019:

  1. The Chhattisgarh government first (In Feb 2019) abolished the DMF trust, which had a two-tier administrative structure consisting of a Governing Council (GC) and a Managing Committee (MC). Both the GC and the MC predominantly had officials and elected representatives who were headed by the District Collector. There was practically no representation of mining-affected people in the body.
  2. It has revised the composition of the governing council of District Mineral Foundation Trusts (DMFTs) and placed the minister in-charge of the respective districts at the head of the governing bodies. Earlier, these were headed by the District Collector (DC).
  3. And, recently made necessary amendment to include 10 members from a Gram Sabha in a mining-affected area in the DMF Governing Council. For Scheduled Areas, at least 50 per cent of the Gram Sabha members will be from Scheduled Tribes (ST) category. Women will also participate in the panel.

This is an extremely significant step in empowering the common mining-affected people.

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) is a programme launched on 17 September 2015 to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations.

Why PMKKKY was necessary, if already District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) was established to take care of mining affected people?

Current Affair 2:
4th edition of the World Energy Congress was held from 9-12 September 2019.

Understand World Energy Congress

Running since 1924, the triennial (Held every three years) World Energy Congress, UN-accredited global energy body, is the World Energy Council’s global flagship event and the world’s premier congress, gathering ministers, CEO’s, energy professionals, industry experts and academia to discuss critical developments in the energy sector.

‘Energy Olympics’ is the nickname for the World Energy Congress (just a fact, keep in mind).

World Energy Issue Monitor 2019 is a publication of World Energy Council.


This Year, 2019, 24th World Energy Congress was held at Abu Dhabi in UAE.

Understanding World Energy Council in respect to India

India is a member of World Energy Council. China and Pakistan are also member of World Energy Council.

Does India ever host World Energy Congress? Yes, in 1983.

The 8th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER8), which is organised in association with the International Energy Forum (IEF) and co-hosted by India on 10 September 2019 in Abu Dhabi, took place alongside the 24th World Energy Congress.

It (AMER8) aims to debate Global Energy Security in the Age of Change and empower responsible growth in Asia and the world. They discussed two important areas:

  • The role of new technologies for a more competitive and productive world energy mix.
  • Advancing inclusive access to secure, affordable, and sustainable energy services.

India will convene the 9th Asian Ministerial Roundtable (AMER9) in 2021 in New Delhi to advance collaboration and dialogue.

Here, we will also see few important graphs:

Current Affair 3:
India ranked 34th on world travel, tourism competitiveness index

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What all things we will cover here?

  1. Who publishes this index?
  2. What all indicators are used?
  3. What are top global ranks?
  4. What is the position of India?

This index is released biennially (once in two years) by World Economic Forum.

Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.

India has moved up six places to rank 34th on world travel and tourism competitiveness index, driven by rich natural and cultural resources and strong price competitiveness.



 However, India still needs to enhance its enabling environment (98th), tourist service infrastructure (109th) and environmental sustainability (128th).

Nothing more than this is required.

Current Affair 4:
National Conference on Crop Residue Management

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Some basics about Conference:

This conference was organized by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in collaboration with ICAR in order to address concerns of farmers and State Governments. The straw burning events in 2018 have reduced by 15% and 41% as compared to that in 2017 and 2016 respectively, as per the report of the High- Power Committee Chaired by Dr. Nagesh Singh.

The Minister also launched a multilingual Mobile App “CHC Farm Machinery” for the farmers to avail the custom hiring services of CHCs located in the radius of 50 Kms. This app connects the farmers with Custom Hiring Service Centres in their area.

Something more about crop residue Management.

Whenever, you will get question to write on Crop Residue Management or Stubble Burning, you will start with paragraph given below:

Now we will learn about Indian Council for Agriculture Research

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Union Minister of Agriculture is the ex-officio President of the ICAR Society.

Some recent important news related to ICAR:

  1. National Mushroom Fair:


  1. The ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Potato organized the 37TH Annual Group Meeting at Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (JNKVV), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) from 3rd to 4th September 2019.

During the Meeting, two advanced hybrids were recommended for release as new varieties for different regions:

  1. Quick Response code Labeled Quality Planting Materials of Perennial Crops.

The non-availability of genuine planting material of improved varieties, especially in plantation crops is considered as a major bottleneck in improving productivity. Many farmers suffer huge financial losses due to the purchase of low- quality planting material sold by the private nurseries. The importance of Quick Response (QR) Coded planting materials helps in overcoming such drawbacks. The ICAR is distributing codes for such crops. Remember this code is for perennial crops.

We will update you on further important news.

Current Affair 5:
Two new species of ginger discovered from Nagaland

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Why this news is important? Because in 2016, a similar question was asked:

Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered two new species of Zingiber, commonly referred to as ginger, from Nagaland. While Zingiber perenense has been discovered from the Peren district of Nagaland, Zingiber dimapurense was found in the Dimapur district of the State. Nothing more than this is required.

Current Affair 6:
UN Mission in support of the Hodeidah (Yemen) Agreement (UNMHA) and Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC)

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently appointed Lieutenant General (retired) Abhijit Guha has been appointed as the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and head of the UNMHA.

As India has been appointed, this news becomes important.

We will learn here two important thing:

  1. Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC)
  2. UN Mission in support of the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA)

UM Mission in support of Hodeida Agreement

Following the Stockholm Agreement, reached in Sweden on 13 December 2018, between the Government of Yemen and the Houthis. The Security Council in its resolution authorized the establishment and deployment, for an initial period of 30 days, of an advance team to begin monitoring and to support the immediate implementation of the ceasefire and redeployment of forces from the city and ports of Hodeida.

Redeployment Co-ordination Committee

By the same resolution, it was also finalized on how the United Nations will fully support the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement, including substantive monitoring of the ceasefire and the redeployment of forces. It also mandated the United Nations to chair the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) set up to oversee the ceasefire and the redeployment of forces.

Current Affair 7:
J&K governor launches market intervention scheme for apple growers

J &K Governor launched the 'Market Intervention Scheme for Apples of J&K' with the objective of providing optimum prices to the growers.

This Scheme will be implemented in J&K by the Directorate of Planning and Marketing, supported by the Directorate of Horticulture (Kashmir) and Jammu and Kashmir Horticultural Produce, Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd.

What is important for us is Market Intervention Scheme.

What is Market Intervention Scheme?

Market Intervention Scheme works in a similar fashion to Minimum Support Price based procurement mechanism for food grains but is an adhoc mechanism. It is a price support mechanism implemented on the request of State Governments for procurement of perishable and horticultural commodities in the event of a fall in market prices.

Its objective is to protect the growers of these horticultural/agricultural commodities from making distress sale in the event of bumper crop during the peak arrival period when prices fall to very low level. Thus, it provides remunerative prices to the farmers in case of glut in production and fall in prices.

Proposal of MIS is approved on the specific request of State/Union Territory (UT) Government, if the State/UT Government is ready to bear 50% loss (25% in case of North-Eastern States), if any, incurred on its implementation.

Implementation of Market Intervention Scheme

The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation is implementing the scheme.

Under MIS, funds are not allocated to the States. Instead, central share of losses as per the guidelines of MIS is released to the State Governments/UTs, for which MIS has been approved.

Now the most important point (concentrate more on bold letters):

Under the Scheme, in accordance with MIS guidelines, a pre-determined quantity at a fixed Market Intervention Price (MIP) is procured by NAFED as the Central agency and the agencies designated by the state government for a fixed period or till the prices are stabilized above the MIP whichever is earlier.

After implementation of scheme, what will be scenario? (see below the statement by Jammu and Kashmir Governor)

Current Affair 8:
PM Launches National Animal Disease Control Programme and National Artificial Insemination Programme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP), aimed at eradicating foot and mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis in livestock.

So here in brief we will see all the four components:

  1. National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP)
  2. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)
  3. Brucellosis
  4. National Artificial Insemination Programme


NADCP: According to a government release, the programme aims to vaccinate over 500 million livestock heads, including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs, against FMD, and some 36 million female bovine calves annually against brucellosis. The programme has received 100% funding from the Centre, amounting to Rs 12,652 crore for five years until 2024, the release said. The NADCP aims to control these two diseases by 2025, and to eradicate them by 2030.

Food and Mouth Disease: It is a highly infectious viral disease of cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and other cloven-hooved ruminants. FMD is generally not fatal in adult animals but leaves them severely weakened, and results in a drastically reduced production of milk and can, therefore, be financially ruinous for dairy farmers. FMD spreads through excretions and secretions; infected animals also exhale the virus.

Brucellosis: This is a zoonotic disease that, according to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, is endemic in most parts of the country. Brucellosis causes early abortions in animals and prevents the addition of new calves to the animal population.

The Prime Minister also launched the National Artificial Insemination Programme and a country-wide workshop in all the Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVKs) throughout the 687 districts of the country on ‘vaccination and disease management, Artificial Insemination and Productivity’.

Current Affair 9:
Maize crops falling victim to fall armyworm in Bihar

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The Fall Armyworm (FAW), or Spodoptera frugiperda, is an insect that is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. In the absence of natural control or good management, it can cause significant damage to crop. It prefers maize but can feed on more than 80 additional species of crops, including rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton.

Because of trade and the moth's strong flying ability, it has the potential to spread further.

Something about Maize from Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)website.

As per the FICCI, the existing productivity level of Maize should double from 2.5 MT/ha presently to 5 MT/ha with subsequent increase in farmer’s income by 2022. See below image:

Now we will see few important graphs regarding MAIZE.

Coming back to news.

Maize crops are falling prey to the deadly Fall Armyworm (FAW) in Bihar, India’s third-largest corn producer.

Why it is important?

According to official numbers, Bihar has a high maize productivity of 3,904 kg/ha, which is more than the national average of 2,889 kg/ha. Bihar has witnessed a visible growth in maize production in the past decade.

The state produced 1.36 million tonnes of the crop in 2005-06. This increased to 3.85 million tonnes in 2016-17, as the high-yielding maize of Rabi season has been replacing winter wheat and paddy in the state.

Current Affair 10:
Method to customize microbes for better biofuel production

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Microbes are the most abundant life forms on earth. They influence the growth of plants, digest food in the human gut, transform pollutants in the environment, and perform a host of other functions that affect everyday life.

To increase the efficiency of the conversion process, microbes are needed that can break down cellulose and ferment it into biofuels in a single set of reactions. A new method, Dubbed consolidated bioprocessing (CBP), has been formulated to improve the economics of biofuels production.

It will harness the power of microbes to turn non-food biomass like corn stalks, switchgrass and poplar into biofuels and bioproducts.

Current Affair 11:
The rare molecule weighing in on the birth of planets

Astronomers using one of the most advanced radio telescopes have discovered a rare molecule in the dust and gas disc around a young star—and it may provide an answer to one of the conundrums facing astronomers.

The star, named HD 163296, is located 330 light years from Earth and formed over the last six million years.

It is surrounded by a disc of dust and gas—a so-called protoplanetary disc. It is within these discs that young planets are born.

Using a radio telescope in the Atacama Desert in Chile, researchers were able to detect an extremely faint signal showing the existence of a rare form of carbon monoxide—known as an isotopologue (13C17O).

The detection has allowed an international collaboration of scientists, led by the University of Leeds, to measure the mass of the gas in the disc more accurately than ever before. The results show that disc is much heavier—or more 'massive' - than previously thought.

This is an important finding in terms of the birth of planetary systems in discs—if they contain more gas, then they have more building material to form more massive planets.

Current Affair 12:
Bioterrorism: Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO's) first military medicine conference

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This was the First Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) conference on Military Medicine, being held in accordance with the SCO Defence Cooperation Plan 2019-20. The two-day conference is the first military cooperation event organised in India under the SCO.

Let us understand Bioterrorism:

Bioterrorism is a planned and deliberate use of pathogenic strains of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or their toxins to spread life-threatening diseases on a mass scale in order to devastate the population of an area.

Bioterrorism in India:

The threat of biological warfare has been engaging the attention of Indian defense and medical experts for a long time. There have been a few episodes that have raised suspicion in the past.

  1. During the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965, a scrub typhus outbreak in north-eastern India came under suspicion.
  2. India's defense and intelligence outfits were alert to the outbreak of pneumonic plague – well known in biological warfare – in Surat and Bubonic plague in Beed in 1994, which caused several deaths and sizeable economic loss.
  3.  In 2001, the anthrax scare reached Mantralaya.

Security experts say even as India tries to prevent terrorist attacks such as the one in Mumbai in November 2008, country must not ignore that threat Biological attacks.

Categories of Bio-Terrorism:

Category A: High-priority agents include organisms that pose a risk to national security because they can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person, result in high mortality rates, and have the potential for major public health impact.

Category B: The second highest priority agents include those that are moderately easy to disseminate, result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates, and require specific enhancements of CDC's diagnostic capacity and enhanced disease surveillance.

Category C: The third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination in the future because of availability, ease of production and dissemination, and potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.

Let us learn some basic about Shanghai Co-operation Organizations:

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The organisation has two permanent bodies — the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.

The SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia.

The SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Current Affair 13:
4P1000 Initiative: A Tribal Perspective through Bamboonomics

What is this Bamboonomics?

The government is all set to make economically viable use of bamboo with focus on charcoal made from it a key component of the action plan to combat desertification and to create livelihoods for tribals. At an event on the sidelines of COP14, UNCCD, tribal affairs minister spoke how “bamboonomics” will form the base of a “tribal movement to combat desertification” that will focus on bamboo plantation and bamboo charcoal.

Now understanding this 4P1000 Initiative:

When and Who Launched it?

The international initiative "4 per 1000", launched by France on 1 December 2015 at the COP 21, consists of public and private sectors (national governments, local and regional governments, companies, trade organisation, NGOs, research facilities, etc.) under the framework of the Lima-Paris Action Plan (LPAP).

The aim of the initiative is to demonstrate that agriculture, and in particular agricultural soils can play a crucial role where food security and climate change are concerned.

Understanding 4P100 in more detail:

Human activities emit enormous amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, which enhances the greenhouse effect and accelerates climate changes.

Every year, 30% of this carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by plants thanks to the   photosynthesis process. Then, when those plants die and decompose, the living organisms of the soil, such as bacteria, fungi or earthworms, transform them into organic matter. This carbon-rich organic material is essential for human nutrition because it retains water, nitrogen and phosphorus, essential for growing plants. Global soils contain 2 to 3 times more carbon than the atmosphere.

If this carbon level increased by 0.4%, or 4 ‰ per year, in the first 30-40 cm of soil, the annual increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere would be significantly reduced.

This is what the 4 per 1000 Initiative proposes, soils for food security and climate. The increase in the amount of carbon in soil contributes to:

a.            not only stabilise the climate

b.           but also, to ensure food security, i.e. to provide food in sufficient quantity

What is in news:

On the sidelines of COP 14 of UNCCD, TRIFED and Union Tribal Ministry launched TICD (TRIFED’s Initiative to Combat Desertification) under “The 4P1000 Initiative: The Tribal Perspective through Bamboonomics.

TICD (TRIFED’s Initiative to Combat Desertification):


They finalized TRIFED DELHI Declaration on “The 4P1000 Initiative: The Tribal Perspective through Bamboonomics.” Under it, TRIFED will integrate its Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojna (PMVDY) with this new global environmental intervention termed as TICD (TRIFED’s Initiative to Combat Desertification).

TRIFED, by partnering with the German Cooperation (GIZ), will involve the tribal community for rehabilitating the degraded land while supplementing the income of tribal community.

According to TRIFED, the 4P1000 Initiative with the tribal perspective through Bamboonomics is the best answer for combating desertification and rehabilitation of degraded wastelands.

We will also see here, Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojna:

The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED.  It was launched on 14th April 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.

The scheme will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level. At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.

Current Affair 14:
Cryodrakon Boreas, a newly identified species

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A newly identified species of pterosaur is among the largest ever flying animals, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London.

Cryodrakon Boreas, from the Azhdarchid group of pterosaurs (often incorrectly called 'pterodactyls'), was a flying reptile with a wingspan of up to 10 metres which lived during the Cretaceous period around 77 million years ago.

Current Affair 15:
Imported Inflation

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When the general price level rises in a country because of the rise in prices of imported commodities, inflation is termed as imported. India imports about three quarters of its total crude oil consumption. Therefore, if the oil prices go up in the international market, inflation in India will also go up due to higher prices of the petroleum products.

However, it is not always necessary that only rise in the price of a traded commodity in the international market fuels imported inflation. Inflation may also rise because of depreciation of the domestic currency. For example, if the rupee depreciates by 20% against the US dollar in a particular period, the landed rupee cost of oil will also go up by the same proportion and will affect the price levels and inflation readings.

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